Topical Anthralin for Hair Loss: 4 Pros and Cons

Although most commonly used to treat the skin condition psoriasis, Anthralin cream or paste can also be administered to treat alopecia, or hair loss. Many have applied Anthralin to their balding spots with notable levels of success, and although it acts slower than similar medications do, its effectiveness more than makes up for it. Anthralin can be a great choice for patient people who are looking for a long-term solution to hair loss. As always, consult your dermatologist to get the green light before using. Knowing more about your medical history will enable medical professionals to evaluate how effective Anthralin will be for your personal use. Read on to learn 6 pros and cons to using Anthralin to slow or reverse your hair loss symptoms.

✔Good Success Rate In Studies


It should first be mentioned that the studied that treated hair loss with Anthralin were all very small, and a bigger sampling is needed for a truly accurate look at the medication’s effectiveness. But Anthralin did rather well in these small studies, with one study showing 18 of 32 patients with patchy alopecia showing notable regrowth. A similar study saw 75% of participants regrow a significant amount of hair by the time 8 weeks had passed. Although Anthralin mainly used as second-tier alopecia treatment, it’s proven itself to have good potential to reverse hair loss—or, at least, it’s proven itself worthy for more in-depth studies.

✖ Not FDA Approved For Hair Loss

There are only two FDA-approved treatments for hair loss, and these are Propecia and Minoxidil. You need a prescription for Anthralin. But just like something being FDA approved doesn’t necessarily mean you should be using it, the reverse holds true: a non-FDA-approved product is not a death sentence. You should be going over all medication choices with your doctor and/or dermatologist anyway, so if your doctor recommends Anthralin for your specific hair loss scenario, you can safely take his/her word for it. A product not being FDA approved is certainly something to think about, and it will make that product harder to get, but it doesn’t mean you have to avoid it at all costs. Discuss it with your dermatologist.

✔Easy Application

Anthralin is applied to bare parts of the scalp once a day. After leaving it on for half an hour to an hour, you wash it out and repeat in 24 hours. While leaving product in your hair can potentially complicate your daily routine, it doesn’t need to do so: evenings are a good time to use Anthralin after you get home from work and are staying there for the night. Chances are, there is some part of your day that Anthralin won’t disrupt. You can apply it and do household chores or sit down and do some reading. Just make sure you don’t leave it in for too long, or your skin will become irritated (see below).

✖ Can Irritate The Skin

If you have a sensitive scalp, you may be susceptible to some skin irritation no matter which product you use. For Anthralin, shorter application times will mean less chance of irritation (but it won’t lessen your chances of getting good results—just remember that Anthralin is a slow-acting medication). When using Anthralin, you may notice some brown skin stains or discoloration in the area where you applied the cream, but fear not: this is normal, temporary, and not harmful. Always follow your doctor’s instructions, and inform your doctor if any skin irritation occurs.

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Author: Editor

Meet Dave, a passionate and knowledgeable editor dedicated to empowering individuals struggling with hair loss. With a deep understanding of the emotional and physical impact of hair loss, Dave embarked on a mission to provide valuable insights, expert advice, and a supportive community through their widely recognized hair loss blog. Armed with a keen eye for detail and an extensive background in the field, Dave curates comprehensive content that combines scientific research, lifestyle tips, and personal experiences to guide readers on their journey to regaining confidence and reclaiming their hair. Through their empathetic approach and unwavering commitment, Dave strives to create an inclusive space where individuals can find solace, practical solutions, and inspiration to embrace their unique beauty.

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